ITV1: Britains Love Story - Sunday 4 November

Britains Love Story
Sunday 4 November 2007 11:15pm – 12:15am on ITV1.

The last in the series, Blind Love tells the story of extreme love in which women risk it all on the man they chose to marry. Impulsive affairs and marriages were nothing new, but from the 60s onwards the sexual revolution gave women much more freedom to follow their hearts in making and breaking relationships.

Often fuelled by jealousy and violence, blind love could destroy everything that first drew a couple together, but it could also result in the most passionate of relationships. Those who took a chance on blind love were to have the most tempestuous of relationships.

Jo Roffey from London was warned by her father when she was 16 that her heartthrob Vic was no good for her, but in 1960 they decided to marry. She’d been married just nine months and was six months pregnant when she saw Vic kissing another girl, which she says ‘was just the start of things to come’. Both have admitted to affairs over the years, yet despite this and the physical fieriness of their relationship, the couple are miraculously still together.

In an age of celebrity, others were captivated by the appeal of fame and ignored the reputation of their lovers. Blind love struck for air stewardess Alex Pursey in 1994 when she met football legend George Best. Alex describes how she fell in love with George, the ups and downs of their relationship, and how she ultimately felt betrayed when she discovered George in bed with another woman at the height of his drinking difficulties.

During the 70s and 80s the boom in package holidays gave rise to an increase in holiday romances and impulsive marriages to foreign men. Debbie Bishop from Bristol found herself swept off her feet in 1980 when she fell in love with waiter Pericles on holiday in Greece. Little did she know that ultimately she would find herself trapped in a brutal, loveless marriage.

Sometimes though, pursuing one’s heart come-what-may did turn out alright in the end. In 1981 nurse Ilona Rigby from Derby was happily married with two children. The last thing on her mind was an affair but she found herself falling in love with a paraplegic patient, Steve. She did the unthinkable and left her husband and children. But in a cruel twist, the Catholic Church initially refused to marry them as Steve could not sire a child. After an enormous press campaign the Church reversed their decision.

About the author

  • BBC One
  • BBC Two
  • BBC Three
  • ITV1
  • ITV2
  • 4
  • E4
  • Film4
  • More4
  • Five
  • Fiver
  • Sky1